In True Community

I had quite a profound experience last night. We were hosting a dinner in our home for a few fellow Vineyard leaders. I was in the kitchen, doing some dishes, when a beautiful thought came to me: “True community enfolds us in our weakness, elevates us in our strength and engages us to find our place within.”

I walked into the other room, dazed by this simple encounter with God, and as I entered a question was being asked of the group. “What is the value you most love about community?” Dr. Peter Fitch was asking the question, one of the professors here at St. Stephen’s University and pastor of the St. Croix Vineyard. I felt prepared to answer it before it was asked.

True community enfolds us, and covers our nakedness in its strength. True community elevates us, and keeps our uniqueness and individuality from being swallowed up in the identity of the group. True community engages us, and allows our “note” to blend with the other notes being played. A beautiful polyphony ensues; a texture that without us would have been impossible.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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